Everything We Know About BTS’ New Album
K-pop superstars BTS are gearing up to release their new record, Love Yourself: Tear, on Friday, May 18. Unsure of what to expect from one of the hottest K-pop album releases of the year? We’ve got you covered! Here’s everything you need to know about Love Yourself: Tear before it drops tomorrow.
Announced by Variety earlier this month by, BTS’ label Big Hit Entertainment officially confirmed the group's comeback single, “Fake Love,” via a teaser video released May 14.
The central idea of the teaser surrounds the psychodramatic technique called The Magic Shop. According to the American Academy of Psychotherapists, The Magic Shop is “a place where protagonists, the principal characters in a psychodramatic scene, might pursue something they wish to acquire or to give up” using a system of “bartering and risk-taking in settling on the price to pay”.
In the video, the seven members are seen trading objects with a masked shopkeeper who, in turn, accepts their fears and gives them a positive gift. Jungkook is the only member to receive something from The Magic Shop without giving anything: a golden key which opens an ominous room behind him. This has fans speculating what his position in the upcoming video will be, and if he is the first to realize that The Magic Shop is only temporary relief from a darker problem.
A snippet of “Fake Love” can be heard at the end of the video, with the members’ voices singing, “For you, even if I was hurting, I could act as if I’m strong.”
Though they’ve released EPs since Wings, Love Yourself: Tear is the first official LP since the group’s 2016 comeback. The album is the second release in the Love Yourself series, following 2017’s Love Yourself: Her, which featured iconic title track “DNA.” It also features the same flower imagery and design.
It’s unclear whether the new record will be a mixture of group and individual tracks like Wings was. However, one song on the album is titled “Airplane Pt. 2,” which may suggest individual songs, considering J-Hope has a song named “Airplane” on his mixtape that was released earlier this year.
Pre-orders for the album began on April 18 and after six days had sold over 1,449,287 copies domestically according to iRiver, smashing the group’s last record by over 400,000 orders. Since becoming available for pre-order, the album has also been ranked #1 in the CD & Vinyl category on Amazon.
Love Yourself: Tear will be released in four different versions: ‘Y,’ ‘O,’ ‘U' and ‘R’. While the tracks on each album are the same, the gifts inside will vary depending on which version is purchased. This method of selling versions of a single album is a popular trend in South Korea because it encourages fans to purchase multiple copies to collect all of the photo cards and mini-books included.
Each copy of Love Yourself: Tear contains a photo book, a mini-book, a photo card, a standing photo, a poster and a CD. Fans will also receive a special photo card if their album is a part of the first album pressing. Each version of the album has a different styling concept, which changes the contents of the mini-book, photo book, posters, and photo cards.
BTS shared images from each photo book on Instagram to help fans decide what version they like best. Version ‘U’ features the members in soft, white outfits, while version ‘O’ shows off BTS’ dramatic looks in stark black and white photos. Version ‘Y’ places the group in an open, yellow field with highly exposed colors and warm sweaters. The most popular version based on its number of likes on the group’s Instagram, however, is version ‘R,’ which features the members dressed head to toe in denim.
On May 6, BTS teased a video of V’s solo contribution to the album, “Singularity.” The neo-soul track features lyrics written by member RM, which allow for V’s raspy, emotional vocals to shine. The role of the first track released from a BTS album serves not only as a taste of new music, but also as a comeback trailer, similar to Jimin’s contribution “Serendipity” on Love Yourself: Her.
A day after its release, the video for “Singularity” received over 12 million views on YouTube. The video also gave fans their first glimpse of the masked figures that can be seen in the “Fake Love” teaser; they provide a creepy, ominous vibe throughout the video as they perform shocking choreography and trail after V like a shadow.
Love Yourself: Tear will have 11 tracks, one of which, a track called "Undelivered Truth," features artist Steve Aoki. This is the group’s second song with the EDM DJ, after he remixed the group’s single “Mic Drop” in 2017.
The rest of the album features writing credits from RM, Suga and J-Hope, as well as song titles like “Anpanman,” “Love Maze" and “Magic Shop”.
Noticeably left off the track list is Jungkook’s solo song, “Euphoria,” which was a released last month. It is unknown why it wasn’t included on the track list, but the song and its nine minute short film provided a smooth transition between the storylines of Love Yourself: Her and Love Yourself: Tear.
Unlike typical K-pop group comebacks, BTS’ first official performance of their lead single will not be on a Korean music program but instead live at the Billboard Music Awards on May 20.
BTS is also nominated for the Top Social Artist Award at the event. This is the same award that they won last year, and their acceptance speech even made it on to their record Love Yourself: Her. The group is up against artists like Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande and Shawn Mendes. Voting for the award started on May 14 and in just twelve hours, the BTS ARMY had cast over 20 million votes for the group.